The past few days there has been a lot of talk on local sports-talk radio and elsewhere on the ‘interwebs’ about NC State’s irrational obsession with officiating particularly in the wake of a tough loss against UNC in the ACC tournament.Â Granted, we all have our mini-meltdown moments after tough loses, and quite frankly the blog-o-sphere would be a lot duller without it.Â That being said, a perception has been built regarding NC State fans along with a series of “urban myths”.Â It’s time to set the record straight and to explain exactly why holding a discussion over officiating isn’t just rational, it’s necessary.
1) “NC State fans are blaming the ACC for not winning an ACC title in +20 years.”
Completely untrue.Â NC State fans are blaming the ACC for offering sub-standard officiating and refusing to admit it.Â Following the “all-clear” signal from the NCAA two decades ago, NC State handicapped themselves to the point that the basketball program couldn’t recover.Â Yes, the ACC played a role in this (the phrase ‘didn’t violate the rules, but violated the spirit of the rules’ comes to mind), but NC State’s administration played their part as well.Â Â The officiating in the ACC has been terrible whether NC State is winning or not.
The bottom line:NC State is just as responsible for their shortcomings and the ACC is for theirs.Â If we are responsible for our lack of performance for the last 20 years, the ACC must be held accountable for their lack of quality in the zebra-colored shirts.
2) “NC State fans think that the reason they lost to Carolina three times this season is due to the officials.”
What?Â Seriously?Â I don’t know any NC State fans that will tell you, with a straight face, that we played a perfect game, void of mistakes and execution failures, where our loss was entirely caused by the officiating.Â Did the officials play a part?Â Of course; that’s what 90% of the complaints being voiced are all about.Â However, to claim that just because NC State fans think the poor officiating “affects the game” equates fans blaming officials for a loss is quite a leap, even for lazy journalism.Â That being said, even though officiating is “one of many factors” that go into a game, it’s the only one not controlled by the players on the court.Â THAT is why it infuriates a fan base exponentially more than missing free throws.
The bottom line:Â Â This is a great myth to bring up if you’re just whoring for ratings or Twitter followers, but there is very little truth to it.Â Anger is directed at a “factor” of a game being outside the control of either competing team.Â Nothing about that statement suggests that anyone thinks the officials were the sole cause of an NC State loss.
3) “NC State fans are just sore losers and are complaining about officiating because they can’t accept that they lost some big games.”
This has to be the dumbest of them all.Â So some pundits are going to attempt to suggest that a fan base with little success to brag about over the last 20 years has a hard time losing?Â If anything, we’re probably better at “dealing with a loss” then any of the other programs in the ACC (except for perhaps Wake Forest… poor little guys).Â One loss completely sucks and may flare up emotions over the poor officiating, but it’s still there regardless of whether we win or lose.Â Don’t believe me?Â Keep reading in the “facts” section…
The bottom line: I’ll agree that we are obsessed with poor officiating “because we’re sore-losers” if the blues agree that their don’t give a s*** about officiating because the numbers imply their benefiting from it.Â Fair?
1) Win or lose, the officiating still sucks.
There is a great thread on our message boards, started by Owen Good, that highlights an article published on Grantland.com outlining a few examples of terrible officiating.Â The problem with officiating goes beyond one or two contests against a couple teams; the problem with officiating is directly tied to documented examples of horrible no-calls and inconsistent judgements on the court.
2) You can’t call someone crazy if they have someÂ proof of their theory.
If the police are trying to solve a crime that “appears” to be a suicide, but they spend weeks, maybe months, interviewing people and making sure it wasn’t a murder, you don’t call the investigators crazy for pursuing leads, do you?Â Well, it may not be murder, butÂ bad officiatingÂ certainly can kill the product on the court.Â Here at StateFansNation we have documented multiple “leads” on the bad officiating from looking at foul statistics divided up among each ACC member institution to noting obvious acts of bias, un-professionalism, and just plain jackasseryÂ by the ACC officials to comparing officiating in the ACC to officiating in other conferences.Â Feel free to disagree that officiating in the ACCÂ is poor or that the officials regularly make mistakes, but you can’t for a second pretend like all of this is completely fabricated in the minds of a few “sore-losers”.Â The numbers are real and the trends do exist.Â Continue the discourse from there…
3) There is thought and logic that goes into the hypotheses that ACC officiating isn’t living up to ACC standards.
StateFansNation does a pretty good job of not just flamboyantly posting irrational accusations against the ACC (save the few knee-jerk reactions to post-game events that I already mentioned in this article).Â After the UNC-NC State ACC tournament game, StateFans posted an article connecting all of the dots between various internal and external sources that paint a picture of sub-par officiating.Â Liars and lunatics can’t always keep their stories straight (just look at UNC’sÂ football program).Â The fact that StateFansNation is able to consistently chronicle the poor officiating in the ACC across multiple writers, multiple contributors, and multiple external media outlets should be enough to suggest that there is something to this crazy idea that ACC officiating isn’t living up to what it should be.Â As such, even if you do not agree that ACC officiating is as big of a deal as some make it out to be, you have to at least admit that “there is something to it”.
4) People outside of the NC State fan base agree regarding ACC officiating.
If the NC State fan base were just being a bunch of sore-losers, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where so many external media outlets would agree with you.Â In the article mentioned by StateFans, the following media outlets are mentioned as reporting on the UNC-NC State game’s poor officiating: Business Insider, NewsÂ & Observer, Charlotte Observer, Yahoo! Sports, Grand Strand Sports Report, and from Owen Good,Â Grantland.Â You can call us crazies, lunatics, and sore-losers, but I guess you’ll have to lump all of them in with us.
I don’t suspect this will keep detractors from accusing NC State fans of being neurotic, sore-losers, but hopefully it at least ‘puts it on record’ that there are perfectly logical reasons to address the sorry state of ACC basketball officiating.Â If you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem.Â You’ll be hard pressed to convince me that holding the ACC accountable is being part of the “problem”.